Matthew Byam Shaw
Matthew trained as an actor at RADA before turning to producing after he was handed Charlotte Jones’s In Flame. He has produced in partnership with many notable theatres including the Almeida Theatre, Donmar Warehouse, Royal Court Theatre, National Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company and is a long time board member of both the Bush Theatre and the Sheffield Crucible. Transfers from these theatres produced by Matthew include Frost/Nixon, Don Carlos, Red and Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies. He has also produced many productions straight into the West End and on Broadway including Flare Path with Sienna Miller and Sheridan Smith, The Audience with Helen Mirren and then again with Kristin Scott Thomas, Don Juan in Soho with David Tennant and Damian Lewis in both American Buffalo and Edward Albee’s The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia? Matthew is also a member of the RADA council and was a producer of the Oscar® nominated Universal/Working Title film Frost/Nixon and is an Executive Producer of the Netflix series The Crown, now in its third season, based on Peter Morgan’s The Audience.
Nia started her career producing on the fringe in Edinburgh and London, before working on her first West End show at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. She spent a number of years working in management for the Royal Shakespeare Company and then at the Royal Court on all in-house productions and West End transfers, before returning to the West End to join Matthew and Nick at Act Productions. Nia was the General Manager there for six years working on all productions, including Wicked, Frost/Nixon, Edward Scissorhands, Legally Blonde, Spring Awakening, Don Carlos and Mary Stuart. In 2010 Nia formed Playful with Matthew and Nick. She currently leads on all productions managed by Playful, including Wicked and Kinky Boots, and heads up Playful’s exceptional production team. Nia remains passionate about developing new work and new writing and is on the Board of Paines Plough, as well as the League of Independent Producers and the Stage One Council. She has previously served on the Boards of Act Productions and Dumbfounded Theatre.
Nick’s interest in the theatre dates back to his school days, but he learned the West End business during his time as an agent. He also became involved with the film industry and worked on several films including The Go Between and The Railway Children, before returning to theatre. He managed and produced for HM Tennent, Churchill Theatre Bromley and Theatre of Comedy at the Shaftesbury Theatre as well as producing in his own right in the West End and on tour – in total over 80 productions. He joined Act productions where he programme their 9 West End theatres and set up their production company of which he was executive producer until he set up Playful Productions with Matthew and Nia. For over 20 years he was part time Chief Executive of Stage One, a registered charity supporting new UK theatre producers. He has served on several theatre boards including the Board of The Society of London Theatre for which he was President for three years.
Harriet joined Playful in April 2018 as Production Intern. Prior to joining Playful she was an Intern in the Production and Development department of the Imaginarium Studios and has also worked with Fierce Kitty Films. Harriet is passionate about theatre and live performance and whilst completing her English degree managed her own production company, was a representative of OUDS and acted as Vice-President of BNC Arts.
Emilie started as an intern in 2011 before joining Playful full time and has assisted across both Wicked London, which she now looks after, and the Wicked UK and Ireland tour. She previously worked for Pippa Ailion Casting and Jorg Betts Associates after studying Drama and Theatre Studies at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Kate joined Playful in February 2015 to work on Wicked and now looks after Kinky Boots. Previously, Kate was Production Co-ordinator at Old Vic Productions (now Greene Light Stage), working in the West End on The Pajama Game, Good People and Private Lives. Prior to that, Kate worked as Assistant General Manager at The Old Vic Theatre Company and as Associate Producer at Opera Holland Park.
Roger is a founding Associate of Playful and has worked with Matthew, Nia and Nick for the past 15 years. He is an independent producer both in the West End and on tour, currently engaged in a world tour of Under Milk Wood, and is the European representative of the BAM Theatres New York.
Assistant Production Accountant
Jesse joined Playful as Accounts Assistant in 2014 after studying Accountancy and Finance at the University of Huddersfield. She works across all productions supporting the finance department in various roles and is currently studying towards her professional accountancy qualification with ACCA.
Nick joined Playful in 2017 as the Production Accountant. Nick previously worked as an in house management accountant for the premature and sick baby charity, Bliss, where he trained for his professional accountancy qualification with ACCA. Nick also volunteers as the Treasurer for the amateur dramatics society Centre Stage London.
Head of Finance
Liz is a founding member of Playful, having worked at Act Productions for just six months prior to that. Ably assisted by the rest of the finance team, Liz manages the finances for all the shows Playful produces and general manages, as well as the company’s finances.
Daisy has most recently been Production Co-ordinator for Imperium and The Moderate Soprano. Since joining Playful in 2016, she has been a Production Assistant for The Goat, Groundhog Day, Hangmen and Dirty Dancing. Before joining Playful she worked as an Assistant Stage Manager for companies including the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre.
Production Office Assistant
Katherine joined Playful in 2016 as Production Office Assistant. She has previously worked for The Corner Shop PR, Sonia Friedman Productions and Theatre Royal Stratford East. Katherine has a BA(hons) degree in Contemporary Theatre Practice from the University of Bedfordshire.
Emma joined Playful in 2018 as a Production Assistant. She has previously worked for the Society of London Theatre and as the Stage One Trainee Producer at English Touring Theatre. She has also worked independently as a producer with Flute Theatre in London and internationally, creating productions of Shakespeare for audiences that include young people with autism. She graduated from University College London in 2016 with a BA (Hons) in Philosophy.
Since joining Playful in 2011, Aimee’s projects have included Million Dollar Quartet, Shrek The Musical, Dirty Dancing both on tour and at the Piccadilly Theatre, the development and subsequent production of Groundhog Day at The Old Vic, and Don Juan in Soho. Current projects include Come From Away at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin and Phoenix Theatre, London. Prior to Playful, Aimee worked for Ambassador Theatre Group at the New Wimbledon Theatre and for Warwick Arts Centre.
Christabel joined Playful in 2018, working on the UK tour of Dirty Dancing. Previously, she has worked for Fiery Angel on various touring and West End productions including Long Day’s Journey into Night. Prior to this, Christabel was the inaugural recipient of the Clive Wolfe Bursary at the Orange Tree Theatre and worked for Seabright Productions as a Stage One Trainee Producer. She has a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Theatre Studies from the University of Leeds.
Payroll & Purchase Ledger Manager
Lindsey joined Playful in 2012 and works on finance and payroll across all productions produced and general managed by the company. Lindsey originally trained as a teacher before becoming an accountant working in charitable as well as private business sectors.
Hannah joined Playful in 2018 as a Production Assistant to work on the UK tour of Wicked. Hannah previously worked on the global tour of Fast and Furious Live as Associate Producer. She has also worked independently as a producer, managing her own production company where she gained 10 years experience general managing and producing shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She has a BA (Hons) in Drama, Applied Theatre and Education from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Katy joined Playful Productions in 2018 as Production Assistant for Wicked London. She previously worked for David Ian Productions looking after the UK Tours of Grease and Evita in South Africa. Katy’s background is in Stage Management where she spent over 10 years working on productions all over the world. Katy has a degree in Stage Management and Technical Theatre from Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Production & Development Assistant
Since joining Playful in 2016, Jack has worked on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and An American in Paris. He currently works on The Moderate Soprano as well as the development of future projects. He previously worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company on Matilda the Musical and, prior to that, gained a Master’s degree in Creative Producing from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Courtney is currently the Production Assistant on Shrek the Musical UK & Ireland Tour, having previously worked on An American in Paris and Imperium with Playful. Prior to this, Courtney has worked on various touring and West End productions including Motown the Musical, Plays at the Garrick (Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company), Goodnight Mister Tom and 39 Steps. Courtney has a first class BA (Hons) degree in Theatre and Performance from the University of Leeds.
Emily joined Playful in May 2018 to work on the upcoming Kinky Boots Tour. Previously the Associate General Manager at Bill Kenwright Ltd, she has also worked in the Legal and Employment Relations teams at SOLT & UK Theatre. Prior to that she worked at The Ambassador Theatre Group and graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London with a degree in Drama and Theatre Studies.
Jo joined Playful in January 2018 as Production Intern. With a Polish education and experience in theatre and film production, she is a recent graduate of the Entrepreneurship postgraduate diploma from NFTS. She is passionate about musical theatre and about finding accessibility solutions for live entertainment.
Lucy joined Playful as an intern in 2013. She currently works as Production Co-ordinator on the UK and Ireland tour of Shrek, having previously worked on Quiz, An American in Paris and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. After studying Drama at Loughborough University, Lucy was an intern at Ambassador Theatre Group and assisted the Marketing and Community Outreach teams at Birmingham Repertory Theatre.
Senior Production Controller
A founder member of Playful, Janet joined Matthew, Nia and Nick at Act Productions in 2006, having previously been General Manager for producer Jenny King. For Playful, Janet has managed productions such as No Man’s Land, Blithe Spirit, The King’s Speech and Flare Path, and oversees investment, legal and employment matters across every show. Janet is a Director of UK Theatre and has a PhD in Ancient History.
Amy Powell Yeates
Amy has worked in development and management since joining Playful in 2012. Projects include The Goat, One Love, Hangmen, American Buffalo, The Audience and Charlie & the Chocolate Factory. She currently has a particular focus on the company’s development slate and producing new projects. Previously she worked at the Barbican, Theatre Royal Haymarket and Donmar Warehouse. She is a Mentor for Arts Emergency and Associate Producer of My Mum’s a Twat at the Royal Court.
Annie joined Playful in 2010 as our first ever intern before becoming full time Executive Assistant to Matthew, Nia and Nick. Now working as Executive Co-ordinator, Annie has also assisted on several productions including The Audience, The Weir and Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies.
Aidan is the Finance Assistant for Playful Productions, having joined in September 2018. He is currently in his placement year, studying Accounting and Finance at Portsmouth University. He is passionate about learning more about the West End and works across all our productions supporting the finance department in various roles including royalties, purchase ledgers invoices and payrolls.
Elliott joined Playful in July 2018 after graduating from the University of Portsmouth with a BA in Accounting with Finance. As Accounts Assistant he works across all productions supporting the finance department in various roles and is currently studying for his ACCA qualification.
Beth joined Playful in 2017 after 8 years at the National Youth Theatre, producing large scale shows across the UK, the West End and internationally. Prior to NYT Beth has produced work at Shakespeare’s Globe and the National Theatre. Beth is a Trustee for Durham University’s Student Union and a member of the British Council’s UK-Gulf Creative Sector Advisory Group. Beth is currently working on the UK & Ireland tour of Wicked.
Georgia joined Playful in 2015 and is currently Production Co-ordinator on the UK and Ireland tour of Dirty Dancing and the West End production of Kinky Boots, having previously worked on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Prior to Playful, she worked at Ambassador Theatre Group, Borkowski Arts & Ents and the New Victoria Theatre after studying at Liverpool University.
Yozi began her career as an apprentice truffle hunter in rural Spain, but in her heart she knew she wanted to work in theatre, and when an opportunity came up at Playful she jumped at the chance (and was told to get down). She can smell a hit a mile away and literally eats, sleeps and wees theatre. A Shakespeare fan, her favourite plays are The Lurcher of Venice and A Winter’s Tail. In her spare time she likes to chase balls.